Date: 05 Apr 2005
The remains of 16 tsunami victims, still unidentified after extensive forensic testing, but believed to be foreigners, were buried in a Colombo cemetery on 1 April. The remains of 53 other tsunami victims who are foreigners but unidentified remain in mobile refrigeration units in the city.
The International Development Association (IDA), an arm of the World Bank, and the Sri Lankan government signed an agreement 1 March on the US $150 million Tsunami Emergency Recovery Project (TERP). Of the US $ 150 million US $75 million has already been allocated for reconstruction programs in health, education infrastructure, roads and housing under the TERP-Phase One which was signed in February. The remaining $75 million provided under the TERP Phase Two will be utilized for the construction of houses, improvement in infrastructure and the rebuilding of livelihoods. Of that US$75 million, US$30 million is in grants and the remaining $45 million in concessional loans.
Overview of activities
A workshop on livelihoods and employment generation was held by the Taskforce for Rebuilding the Nation (TAFREN) with the support of the ILO, UNDP and the World Bank in Galle District last week. Among the participants at the "Workshop on Rapid Income Recovery Programme Restoration of Livelihood," were relevant district government departments including those for district planning, fisheries, road development as well as from representatives from UN agencies, NGOs, and from the banking and commercial business sector.
As part of the government's cash-for-work programme, Christian Children's Fund is employing approximately 400 people in Matara District at a rate of 400 rupees (US$4) per day. In another cash-for-work programme GOAL an NGO based in Ireland, is employing approximately 350 labourers in various shelter, drainage and road rehabilitation projects.
UNICEF and Save the Children have compiled data on child protection in Matara District. Save the Children conducted a Protection Workshop last week with 22 camp managers on protection issues including conflict resolution and child protection.
Main challenges and responses
In Batticaloa the Government Agent has revived its Infrastructure Taskforce which is now working with a newly established debris clearing group. It is estimated that some 80 per cent of tsunami created debris in Batticaloa remains to be cleared, and is becoming an environmental concern.
Through USAID funding, and with the support of the Sri Lankan Army and the Navy, clearing operations began on 1 April of the Batticaloa lagoon. The debris clearing operation is expected to take two weeks.
World Vision reported a Hepatitis A outbreak in one of the camps in Cheddipalayam, Batticaloa District, which UN agencies attribute to poor sanitation. The outbreak was brought under control and various agencies and NGOs are following up by examining the issue of waste disposal in the camps as well as in communities throughout the district. "
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